If you are a Student: One of the advantages of studying at an institute of national repute, is the opportunity to tap into the tangible commitment these have, to help you acquire social and professional competencies that mirror those required by future workplaces or higher education institutions. Language competencies and communication skills are a key part of leveraging your technical and academic prowess in ways that will serve you well. English is undisputedly the language most commonly used in technological and academic contexts in a liberalized world.
However, only about 10% of Indian citizens can read, write and speak English fluently. To learn a language in an organic way, we need to hear a lot of that language in our immediate environment. This is why we all speak our mother tongues correctly, without any effort at consciously ‘trying to learn’ it, and certainly without ever learning any grammar rules!
Many of you may have been to schools where English was taught only as one subject, like all the other subjects, and unfortunately, the focus there too may have been on studying several grammar rules, that does not, by itself, facilitate speaking the language confidently and correctly. Even in those schools where English is supposed to be the medium of instruction, the quality of such instruction is widely varied and the culture of students using and practicing English to get better at it, generally absent.
The English Language Support Services of IIT Palakkad aim to address, as best as possible, the several gaps in the English Language learning experience that many students come with. A casual survey undertaken at the Institute revealed that, of 57% of a chosen population who responded to the survey, 43% of the respondents only learnt English as one subject in school, and 51% come from homes that did not subscribe to an English language newspaper when they were in school. The majority, 70%, hear English only when it is used in class, and only 22% talk the language when with friends. Notably, 79% of the respondents self-reported a desire to improve their English language competencies.
The important thing is, the English Language Support Services of IIT Palakkad exist to cater to real and felt needs of the student community, and you are not alone if you feel these services could possibly help you.
Now, what services constitute English Language Support? Besides the services mentioned on the poster above,
The Daily English Capsule
A daily mail from the ELSS service to help prep for tests like IELTS and TOEFL with a focus on Listening, Reading and improved Speaking and Writing through a focus on essentials like phrasal verbs, idioms and fun ways to master English grammar on-the-go.
A Self-study Non-credit Moodle course for English Language Learners
With a focus on developing the language competencies of Listening, Writing, Reading and Speaking, this carefully curated course has structured content and exercises that will help learners approach English language learning in a very scientific, time-tested and effective way. Requiring only 15-30 minutes of time per day, but ideally everyday, the course has deliberately been designed and offered in the most flexible and learner-friendly manner possible. Enrollment is open all year round via an email request to email@example.com.
Certifying English Language Proficiency as per non-standardised Rubrics / Test Matrices acceptable to foreign universities
Almost all foreign universities require that prospective scholars or interns demonstrate their English Language Proficiency. While standardised tests like TOEFL or IELTS are the norm, some do allow for such competence to be tested and attested in other objective ways as well. Should you require such a service, as per a template/guidelines specified by the receiving university, you may approach the English Language Consultant.
Anchoring the English Language Buddy (EL-Buddy) Program
This program will match students who desire to improve their English language competencies with a “Buddy” student volunteer, who has been screened and selected for their suitability to fill this role. The EL-Buddy offers English language input in the form of friendly conversation or exchange on academic and general matters for an hour a day and helps fellow students get a practical one-on-one English language interface.
The plan is to create a roster of EL-Buddies by selecting those students who meet certain criteria to sign up for the Buddy Program. Desirous students will then be matched with “EL-Buddies” who are studying in preferably the same program. You are invited to reach out to the English Language Consultant with an email if you ‘Need an El-Buddy’/ ‘Want to be an El-Buddy’.
For EL-Buddies this represents • An opportunity for in-house training and ongoing handholding on how to offer language learning assistance • Written acknowledgment of your volunteer work subject to terms and conditions: Value adding to the CV! • The chance to make a positive change / be an influencer by stepping outside your comfort zone and making new friends who may be very different from yourself.
Content Writing & Editorial Services
The English Language Consultant also writes content for and edits the Institute’s various publications, annual reports, various brochures, event related materials, website content (on request), news blurbs for the website and social media handles, and supports Staff and Faculty on a case-by-case basis.
All queries and requests may be directed to:
Ms. Sandhya, firstname.lastname@example.org